Christy Morrissey

Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, College of Arts and Science
Assistant Professor, School of Environment and Sustainability

(306) 966-4433


  • Doctor of Philosophy, Biological Sciences, Simon Fraser University
  • Bachelor of Science, Zoology, University of British Columbia

Research Interests

Avian ecology and wildlife ecotoxicology; effect of multiple stressors (chemical, natural and climatic) on bird behaviour and population stability; impact of endocrine disrupting chemicals from sewage and industrial discharge to river birds; nutrient and contaminant sources in the context of annual life cycles; freshwater ecology and pollution


Recent Grants/Awards

  • NSERC Discovery Grant, University of Saskatchewan, April 2011
  • Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship, Cardiff University, October 2008
  • Royal Society International Postdoctoral Fellowship, Cardiff University, October 2006
  • NSERC Postdoctoral Fellowship, Cardiff University/Environment Canada, April 2006

Select Publications

  • Morrissey, C.A., Pollet, I.L., Ormerod, S.J. and Elliott, J.E. American dippers indicate biotransport by Pacific salmon (submitted).
  • Elliott, J.E., Bishop, C.A. and C.A. Morrissey (Eds). 2011. Wildlife Toxicology: Forensic Approaches. Springer. 
  • Morrissey, C.A. and J.E. Elliott. 2011 Toxic trees: arsenic pesticides, woodpeckers and the mountain pine beetle. In Wildlife Toxicology: Forensic Approaches. J.E. Elliott, C.A. Bishop and C.A. Morrissey (Eds). Springer. 
  • Morrissey, C.A., Elliott, J.E., and S.J. Ormerod. 2010. Diet shifts during egg laying: implications for measuring contaminants in bird eggs. Environmental Pollution 158:447-454.
  • Morrissey, C.A., Elliott, J.E., and S.J. Ormerod. 2010. Local to continental influences on nutrient and contaminant sources to river birds.  Environmental Science and Technology 44(5):1860-7.
  • Elliott, J.E., Bishop, C.A. and C.A. Morrissey (Eds). Wildlife Toxicology: Forensic Approaches. Springer.  Book to be published 2010.
  • Morrissey, C.A. and J.E. Elliott.  Toxic trees:  arsenic pesticides, woodpeckers and the mountain pine beetle.  In Wildlife Toxicology: Forensic Approaches. J.E. Elliott, C.A. Bishop and C.A. Morrissey (Eds). Springer. To be published 2010.
  • Mackas, R.H., Green, D.J., Whitehorne, I.B.J., Fairhurst, E.N., Middleton, H.A., and C.A. Morrissey.  2010. Altitudinal migration in American dippers: do migrants produce higher quality offspring?  Canadian Journal of Zoology 88(4), pp. 369-377
  • Morrissey, C.A., Dods, P.L., and J.E. Elliott. 2008. Pesticide treatments alter woodpecker foraging behavior and bark beetle abundance during the Mountain Pine Beetle epidemic. Ecological Applications 18(1): 172-184.
  • Gillis, E.A., Green, D.J., Middleton, H. and C.A. Morrissey. 2008. Life history correlates of alternative migratory strategies in American Dippers.  Ecology89(6): 1687-1695.
  • Albert, C.A., Williams T.D., Morrissey C.A., Cullen, W.R, Lai V., and J.E. Elliott. 2008. Tissue uptake, mortality and sub-lethal effects of monomethylarsonic acid (MMA) in nestling Zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata). Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health Part A 71(6): 353-360.
  • Albert, C.A., Williams, T.D., Morrissey C.A., Cullen, W.R., Lai, V.L.M. and J.E. Elliott. 2008. Dose dependant uptake, elimination and toxicity of monosodium methanearsonate (MSMA) in adult Zebra Finches (Taeniopygia guttata). Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 27 (3): 605-611.
  • Elliott, J.E, Morrissey, C.A., Henny, C.J., Inzunza, E.R., Shaw, P. 2007. Satellite telemetry and prey sampling reveal contaminant sources to Pacific Northwest Ospreys.  Ecological Applications 17(4), 2007: 1223-1233.
  • Morrissey, C.A., Albert, C.A., Dods, P.L., Cullen, W.R., Lai, V. and J.E. Elliott 2007. Arsenic accumulation in bark beetles and forest birds occupying mountain pine beetle infested stands treated with monosodium methanearsonate (MSMA).  Environmental Science and Technology 41: 1494-1500.
  • Middleton, H.A., Morrissey, C.A., and D.J. Green. 2006. Breeding territory fidelity in a partial migrant, the American Dipper Cinclus mexicanus Journal of Avian Biology 37: 169-178.

Current Courses

  • ENVS 801.3 - Ecosystem Science and Sustainability
  • BIOL 475.3 - Ecological Toxicology

Current Research

Investigating changes in thyroid hormone homeostasis in birds exposed to chemical mixtures - effects on learning, cognition and migratory behaviour.

Developing biomarkers of exposure to sewage (using stable isotopes and hormone assays) and investigating individual and population level effects in river birds exposed to endocrine disrupting chemicals on U.K. urban rivers.

Biotransport of contaminants from migrating xsalmon to river ecosystems in British Columbia.

Direct and indirect effects of neonicotinoid pesticies on avian communities in agricultural wetlands.